COVID doesn’t stop Rotarians, The Greater Bend Rotary Club (GBRC) meets each Tuesday, by Zoom for now, to inspire the membership with interesting speakers sharing a wide variety of topics and to learn about and participate in the needs of the local community. The club also supports international projects through their World Community Service committee.
Greater Bend members continue to pay dues, hold fund raisers and raise support for projects to continue this work. This year several agencies benefitted from these donations.
GBRC chose The Giving Plate as a “hands on” project. Rotary volunteers showed up to move thousands of pounds of food from Walmart to the Giving Plate and on to families needing food at Thanksgiving. This project helped 629 families about 2,255 people with turkeys and sides to share with their loved ones over the holiday. This included 869 bags of food for the Kid’s Korner and represents a 55 percent increase over last year for the Giving Plate.
$1,000 was provided to Every Child Central Oregon for Flash Boxes, or care packages, for foster families in Bend and La Pine to encourage family retention rates.
$2,000 went to REACH Central Oregon to provide safe heaters, propane and can stoves for 50 houseless families to cook and stay warm.
$2,000 was given to Jericho Road, an all-volunteer program to support their weekend food program for students and Jericho Table, free meals for homeless, hungry and financially challenged people in the Redmond area.
GBRC also supports education. The club provided eight scholarships this year to local students at COCC, OSU-Cascades and Bend/La Pine Schools Foundation Perseverance program. Scholarships in the amount of $20,000 are given each year. Greater Bend Rotary is also the largest local sponsor of J Bar J’s Vocational Training program for at risk youth.
Together the World Community Service donations combined with Rotary International funds and working with our Habitat for Humanity Partners and The Rotary Club of Guatemala, we provided over 125 Mayan families living in/near the village of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, with latrines, water filters and smokeless stoves. Satisfying this trifecta of need will dramatically improve the lives and livelihood of the indigenous residents of Guatemala.
For the last 33 years Rotary International, in partnership with The Gates Foundation, have led the fight to eradicate polio. The Greater Bend Rotary has been dedicated to this cause and raised enough money to provide vaccinations for 400,000 children.
To become a member of this dynamic club send a note or call Teri Shepard at 541-306-6849.